1042:Hiroki Junmai Ginjo Black Label(Fukushima Prefecture)
【Izakaya E, Part 7 of 11】
My regular drinking hole, Izakaya H, is closed on Tuesdays. That Tuesday night, I invited the manager of Izakaya H and his girlfriend M, to go drinking at Izakaya E.
We drink "Juyondai Nakadori Junmai Ginjo Banshu Aiyama Namazume," "Yamagata Masamune Junmai Ginjo Becchu," "Hitakami Junmai Seimai Buai 60%" made with each rice variety "Tankan Wataribune," "Yamadaho" & "Yamadanishiki," "Hiroki Tokubetsu Junmai" and for our seventh sake we have "Hiroki Junmai Ginjo Black Label."
Hiroki's black label looks good. It looks like it'll taste good. The "Hiroki Tokubetsu Junmai" we just drank tasted incredible so I have high hopes. I have a drink.
Ｈ: "Ohhh, good, good."
Ｍ-san: "Oh, yummy, yummy!" (When M-san drinks a good sake she has a habit of repeating yummy twice, and H has acquired it, also saying "good" twice .)
Ｈ: "Oh gosh, this is seriously good."
As I photograph the label, the two of them repeatedly say "it tastes great." Is it that good? The "Hiroki Tokubetsu Junmai" we just drank was amazingly good, so I assume this is good too, but they look like they're overreacting and I have my doubts. I finally finish photographing the label, and try some of the sake.
Sakegaeru: "Oh, this is good. It's like they added ginjoko (the typical aromas of ginjo-shu) to the "Hiroki Tokubetsu Junmai" we just had. The fragrance is restrained and the total balance is superb. There is sweetness. A slight bitterness lingers. This is great!"
H: "No complaints, no complaints."
Sakegaeru: "It's soft. Calm. Full of umami, but not gaudy. The umami spreads gently in the mouth. The acidity is light, and accents the sake well. The Tokubetsu Junmai we just had was strong, but this is elegant and refined with a sharp finish. I like both sakes."
H and M-san are right with their "tastes great" assessment. I also say it many times. It's a superbly finished sake, tasty and beautiful.
The only disappointment is that the label only indicates "the rice is grown domestically" and doesn't disclose the variety of rice used. The seimai buai (polishing ratio) is 50%, almost at daiginjo levels.
A former journalist for a local newspaper agency. Registered domicile, address, age: Unknown. He likes to drink sake that he has never tried before. Usually keeps a sake warmer at his favored izakaya restaurant. He believes that saying "I will start with a beer" at a drinking party is disrespectful to beer and sake, so it should start with sake. He prefers rich sake with a sour taste. Each year, he drinks over 500 different kinds of sake.